Diamine Firefly Ink Bottle Product Image

Diamine Firefly Shimmer Ink : Review

Firefly was the first shimmer ink that I bought on purpose. In part it’s just because I was a big fan of the Joss Whedon show, but it also just looked like a good color to have gold sparkle in it, and for a period of about a month, I thought that glittery inks were really awesome. I’ve cooled on them a bit since then.

I’m pretty happy with the color. It’s a nicely saturated orange-red with some shading, and if shaken well before use, it has a heavy amount of glitter. Sometimes I prefer to use it poorly shaken, since the glitter can be a bit overwhelming from a very wet pen.

If you’ve never noticed, the color scheme of the box, label and caps of these inks correlate with the color of the glitter that they contain. Firefly has a gold band around the red label on the box, a gold cap on the bottle, and yellow text on the label, indicating gold-colored shimmer. The silver band and cap indicate silver glitter.

And I’d say that the ink itself is pretty wet. With a dip pen, it’s very hard to get a smooth, thin line with the ink (while inks like Diamine’s Oxblood produce an even, thin line with the same pen). However, Firefly is not quite as wet as Diamine’s (150th Anniversary) Blood Orange, which is very wet indeed.

Drying time is moderately good, at somewhere around 15 seconds on good paper (my test was with a Clairfontaine Triomphe pad), but the ink has no water resistance at all. On cheap paper (just some plain copy paper from Staples), the ink is remarkably well behaved. There is some feathering, but not a lot, and bleed-through is only a problem if you write very slowly or pause with the ink to paper.

Ultimately, this is a good ink for just about anything, since the drying time is reasonable, but the color and shimmer are most suitable for headings and special documents that need a bit of flair (invitations, signatures, etc.). You wouldn’t want to use this as an ink for taking field notes on a scientific expedition or as a journalist unless you want to be able to destroy your work quickly with a faucet to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

Questions? Let me know in the comment section below.